The Office of Recovery Community Affairs (ORCA)
This office acts a liaison for people who may identify with having mental health and/or addiction challenges, their families, friends and allies, as well an information and resource guide to all providers.
Our goal is to inform people of our Initiatives, Services and Resources that are offered by DMHAS and DMHAS-funded agencies throughout the state.
ORCA endorses the ‘No Wrong Door’ motto for recovery and encourages people to find the pathway(s) that work best for them.
Elsa Ward, MS, CAC, Director, (860) 418-6989, Elsa.Ward@ct.gov
Cheri Bragg, Assistant Director, (860) 418-6935, Cheri.Bragg@ct.gov
DMHAS ORCA Initiatives
State Peer Support Credentialing:
DMHAS is in the process of developing a centralized Peer Recovery Certification. The goal is to ensure that one standardized set of Peer Principles, Core Competencies and Code of Ethics are endorsed statewide and is in alignment with what the State of Connecticut, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Association for Addiction Professionals National Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist (NCPRSS), and other states' best practices.
Please read the following document regarding Public Attendees of the Advisory Committee Meetings prior to event registration.
Scheduled Meeting Dates: 9/28, 10/12, 11/9 & 12/14/22; 1/11 & 2/28/23 from 5:30-7pm. (Eventbrite Registration Link)
Disclaimer: These meetings were recorded for the Connecticut Peer Recovery Support Certification Advisory Committee under a cooperative agreement between the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), the Office of Recovery and Community Affairs, the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health (PRCH), and the Connecticut Certification Board (CCB). All material appearing in this presentation, except that taken directly from copyrighted sources, is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission from DMHAS, PRCH, or the CCB. The citation of the source is appreciated. Do not reproduce or distribute this presentation for a fee without specific written authorization from DMHAS. This presentation was recorded and posted for the DMHAS website. At the time of this recording, Nancy Navarretta, M.A., LPC, NCC, was serving as the DMHAS Commissioner. The opinions expressed herein are the views of the individual members on the Connecticut Peer Recovery Support Certification Advisory Committee and do not reflect the official position of DMHAS, PRCH or the CCB, nor are they officially supported or endorsed. (11/2022)
Peer Certification Advisory Committee Meetings
- September 28, 2022
- October 12, 2022, Breakout: The Complaint Process, Breakout: Ethics, Principles & Guidelines, Breakout: The Grandparenting Process
- November 9, 2022
- December 14, 2022
State Peer Recovery Certification - Advisory Committee Members
Cheri Bragg, Co-Chair, DMHAS/Yale PRCH
Kimberly Blackman, Co-Chair, Yale PRCH
Tracie Compositor, Co-Facilitator
Nicole Hampton, Co-Facilitators
Barbara-Ann Janice Tuozzolo
DMHAS-endorsed Peer Recovery Support training centers:
- CCAR Recovery Coach Training
- Advocacy Unlimited Recovery Support Specialist (RSS) Training
- Hartford Healthcare Recovery Support Specialist (RSS) Training
Monthly Recovery Calendars:
- Advocacy Unlimited
- CCAR Bridgeport Recovery Community Center
- CCAR Hartford Recovery Community Center
- CCAR New Haven Recovery Community Center
- CCAR Willimantic/Windham Recovery Community Center
CT Peer & Family Organizations
- Advocacy Unlimited (AU)
- Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR)
- National Alliance on Mental Illness-CT (NAMI-CT)
- New Life II
Peer Respite Town Hall Meetings
The Office of Recovery Community Affairs (ORCA) held two virtual Town Hall meetings in March 2022 to discuss Peer Respites and Soteria Houses. We invited two speakers with extensive experience in these models to present a comprehensive overview of Peer Respites and Soteria Houses, followed by a rich discussion between participants who joined the event. We are preparing a report summarizing the discussions which will be made public on this page. The videos of both presentations are available below.
Here are some additional resources that may be useful:
“This website was created by Live & Learn, Inc. to provide the public access to resources about peer respites in the United States. The resources available on PeerRespite.net include the criteria and definition of a Peer Respite, the Peer Respite Directory (updated in 2018), the Guidebook for Peer Support Program Self-Evaluation, and reports from the Peer Respite Essential Features Surveys conducted in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018, which document nationwide trends in organizational characteristics and policies. PeerRespite.net also hosts a repository of research on peer respites.”
National Empowerment Center lists and describes many different models